Posted by From Iyabo Sotunde, Ibadan on
IYIOLA Omisore is back in prison custody, on the orders of an Ibadan High Court. Omisore, former Deputy Governor of Osun State is currently standing trial over the murder of former Attorney-General of the Federation and Justice Minister, Chief Ajibola Ige.
IYIOLA Omisore is back in prison custody, on the orders of an Ibadan High Court.
Omisore, former Deputy Governor of Osun State is currently standing trial over the murder of former Attorney-General of the Federation and Justice Minister, Chief Ajibola Ige.
Omisore had arrived the Ibadan High Court 20 in a green Toyota Lexus sports utility van with registration number FG 943 with a back-up car, a Toyota Land Cruiser and an escort van for yesterday's court session.
However, in a ruling, which took many unawares, the new judge, Justice Moshood Abass, directed the serving Senator to be remanded in prison while adjourning further hearing to July 30.
Omisore was not allowed to use any of his cars. Rather, he was driven out of the court in a prison pick-up van, which was accompanied by two police prado jeeps.
The former Deputy-Governor was granted bail on May 30, 2003 by Justice Olagoke Ige on the ground of ill-health.
But dissatisfied with the ruling, the prosecution team, led by Chief Debo Akande (SAN) appealed against the court decision and applied for transfer of the suit to another court. The prosecutor accused the trial judge of bias and giving two contradictory rulings.
Following the application for transfer, Justice Ige on Friday, July 4, handed off the case and returned the file to the Oyo State Chief Judge for reassignment.
Subsequently, Justice Abass was handed the file and assigned to take over the trial.
At yesterday's proceedings, the plea of the accused was taken and he pleaded not guilty to the charges of conspiracy and murder contrary to the provisions of Sections 324 and 319(1) of the Criminal Procedure Laws of Oyo State proferred against him.
The prosecution later sought an adjournment saying since the matter was coming up for the first time before Justice Abass, it needed time to assemble its witnesses.
Omisore's counsel also reminded the new Judge that the accused had been granted bail by another court and prayed that the bail should be allowed by Justice Abass.
Although the prosecution said it was not opposed to the application that the bail granted the accused should continue, Justice Abass frowned at the ruling of the earlier court and asked Kalejaye to address him on why he should continue to uphold the bail.
Kalejaye said he was not prepared for the address and urged the court to adjourn the matter to enable him prepare.
Justice Abass fixed Wednesday, July 30 for the address and directed that the accused be remanded in prison custody.
He declared: "The case is adjourned till July 30 for counsel to address on whether the court is bound to uphold the bail granted the accused in the other court in a murder case; meanwhile the accused person is to be remanded in prison custody."
Reacting to the ruling, Kalejaye told reporters that there was no basis for the revocation of the bail, moreso when the prosecution was not opposed to it.
He argued that Omisore had not contravened any of the conditions laid down for granting the bail and wondered why the trial court should remand the accused in prison custody.
"I must say that there is no basis for the order. A judge of the High Court granted the accused bail and he has not violated any of the stipulated conditions, moreso when the prosecution is not opposed to it," he stated.
The bail granted Omisore by Justice Ige had sparked wide criticisms. However, the accused had earlier been declared winner in the senatorial elections of Ife-Ijesha district, which included Esa-Oke, the hometown of the slain Attorney General.
He was therefore sworn in as a Senator shortly after being released on bail.